Ambitious, growth-oriented businesses are invited to workshops to help them innovate and increase productivity.

‘East Midlands Innovation’ is a series of events, organised by Innovate UK and the three universities in the region: Leicester, Loughborough, and De Montford with additional support from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership. This year, there are three sector-focussed events taking place across Leicestershire looking at the county’s thriving food and drink, textiles manufacturing and logistics sectors. The information in these events will be of use to all sectors of the economy.

Julian Bowrey, Innovate UK regional manager said: ‚ÄúInnovation is key to business success. We are highlighting three important sectors in our region. The first event is focussed on Fashion and Textiles, a thriving¬†sector worth half a billion pounds to the Leicestershire economy, employing around 10,000 skilled workers. We want to ensure we retain these companies and help them to innovate and enjoy long term success.”

“Next up is food and drink and this region is renowned for international cuisine, not forgetting the Melton Mowbray pork pie, which has secured protected designation of origin status. This event will examine some of the future trends for the industry, plus we’ll hear from local businesses which have tasted success.”

“We end the week looking at Logistics Delivering the Goods. It’s no wonder many logistics and distribution companies choose to locate in this region. We are the natural choice with fast and easy access the motorway network and our East Midlands airport is the UK hub for DHL and UPS.”

Highlights of the week

Textiles event – Tuesday 27 February, King Power Stadium

Simon Platts, Global Sourcing Director for the retail giant Asos will be giving his insights into the future of the industry, plus two local businesses, Microfresh and Shelton Machines, will be sharing their business success stories.

Food and Drink event – Wednesday 28 February, King Power Stadium

We are pleased to have secured some top speakers including the Director General of the Food and Drink Federation, Ian Wright CBE. Plus two local businesses will talk about their successful innovations: Richard Ledger of Millitec Food Systems and Shahid Sheikh of Clifton Packaging.

Logistics event – Thursday 1 March, Stanford Hall, Lutterworth

Stephen Watson of Microlise is our featured local SME sharing his innovation story, followed by Ocado’s Fleet Manager Graham Thomas who will talk about the innovation for the final mile. The Transport Systems Catapult will present on future innovations for the industry and a representative from Dept for Work and Pensions will talk about next generation employment and how we can work to solve some of the skills shortages the industry faces. Tracey Worth from the Institute of Couriers is our final speaker in this session.

The event hosts, Innovate UK, are the Government agency responsible for stimulating business-led innovation in order to drive productivity and growth in the UK economy. Since 2003 Innovate UK has invested £340m in the East Midlands to support 1900 projects in 900 companies

Tickets for these events are free. Places are limited so early booking is advised.

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